“Leave your expectations at home and enjoy the night for what it is” is one New Years resolution that I’ve tried to keep ahold of this year. Too often I’ve built up expectations in my head, ‘This set is going to be the best set ever’ or ‘This is going to be the best they’ll ever play’ only to be let down by my own fabricated expectations.
For the most part, I’ve kept with this resolution, but it’s a little hard to leave your expectations at home when you’re going to none other than Get Perlonized! at Panorama Bar, the first since December 2018.
The party needs little introduction, whilst there’s been away legs at Hopptosse, Robert Johnson and even Tresor, Get Perlonized! has been held on the first Friday of the month at Panorama Bar since 2004. Chosen guests are of course normally associated with Perlon or DJs whom Zip has a huge amount of respect for.
The most notable GP! parties arise whenever there’s a new release and the producer is invited to perform in the hallowed upstairs of Berghain. For April, it was none other than Italian Ivan Iacobucci, who’d just released his ‘Logic Solution‘ to rousing success.
I’m waved in at 4AM, just as Perlon staple Thomas Melchior is beginning to settle into his set. Unfortunately, I missed Sammy Dee’s opening set but it’s hard to fathom that such a thing as a ‘chilled’ warm-up exists when it comes to Zip’s night, from the crowd dressed in leather harnesses to the mind-blowing sound-system, everything’s geared towards an obscene party from the get-go.
Melchior’s set was perhaps the most intriguing of the night from a DJing point of view, he respected there was still Ivan and Zip to play but took advantage of the crowd hungry for in-your-face music. The German toyed with the crowd with a trick I don’t think I’ve seen a DJ do so regularly throughout a set.
The German would often start mixing in a recognizable track, the most notable being Narcotic Syntax’s Muff Diver, when the crowd recognized it and began to brace themselves for it he properly mixed in…he’d mix it out and move onto the next track. Depending on how seriously you like your DJs to play, it could be a frustrating tactic or a playful one. Considering the not-so-serious nature of the party, it was incredibly memorable.
Next up was recent releasee Ivan Iacobucci. Of course not just anybody gets to release on Perlon and Iacobucci has been producing music since the early 90’s and DJing even before then. However, since moving to Berlin 2014, the Italian has experienced a late-career surge with releases on Imprints Records, Holic Trax and Apollonia.
In truth, he played one of the best sets I’ve had the fortune to hear. As you can imagine for someone that’s been collecting records since the mid 80’s, there was an unbelievable selection of records and I didn’t recognize a single one. The man of the moment DJed like he’d been waiting a long time for a crowning moment like this, switching between rugged electro and feel-good New York house with astounding ease.
His concentration was laser tight, occasionally lifting a record up to the crowd as he received cheers back. Back in the booth, Zip was grinning from ear-to-ear.
At 9AM the sun was fully penetrating the Panorama Bar blinds and there was no use in trying to escape the slightly sobering fact that it was day-time. Luckily for us, Zip was just putting his first record on the decks. The pair embraced and Iacobucci would return later on, but for now, it was Herr Franzmann going solo.
Despite the peak-time slot, Zip went through his usual early set formula, opting to dial the energy down. The first four or five tracks focused on crafting the path for his set, despite being relatively low energy, on the mind-blowing stacks of Funktion 1s, tracks like Pile’s ‘About Evolution and Development’ felt like sonically penetrating.
He zipped and zagged through genres and Perlon cult classics, in particular, Margaret Dygas’ ‘Frankly’, the trumpets and guitar riffs bellowing throughout Panorama Bar. As inhibitions further melted away from the collective consciousness, Zip delved into dark and sharper-edged tracks such as GMNR Productions’ Sexy Mothasucka (Alternate Version).
As midday struck, Iacobucci returned to the booth once again as he and Zip exchanged smiles before engaging on a three hour back-to-back as releasees often do for their release party. The pair seemed to have saved their best and most obscure records for playing together, whilst the odd smile or chat was shared, the pair seemed completely emersed in the moment, Iacobucci in particular.
The Italian’s Perlon record was poking out of a record bag and visible to the crowd throughout, which is probably the extent of the label’s marketing. The instantly recognisable punchy drums and nostalgic synths from ‘Logic Solution’ did make an appearance during the set, as did a bouncy yet menacing rumoured future release from Fumiya Tanaka.
Unfortunately as my calves tightened and my back locked, I wasn’t able to make it to the end of the night. Reflecting on the U-Bahn back to my Airbnb, I wasn’t sure I’d ever been to a party quite like Get Perlonized.
Inclusive, unapologetically boisterous and absurdly great music from start to finish.